Note to waitpersons
grady at ibiblio.org
Mon Jan 17 11:24:21 EST 2005
Would you think it odd if they asked you if you needed a fork, or a
napkin? How about if you dropped your fork on the floor, would you find
it strange if they said "do you need another fork?" and seemed reluctant
to make the extra trip to get you one?
I can understand "do you need a box?" if you have leftover food, because
some people want to take home leftovers and some people don't, and
once the box is on the table you've either got to use it or it needs to
be thrown away, and that would be a waste of a perfectly good box.
As for change, I quite often need it, because I live in enlightened
times when two people dining together split the check, and the change is
often necessary to get the details of that worked out. Doesn't mean the
tip is going to necessarily be less than the total of the change; it
might just as easily be *more*.
The point is that the waiter/customer interaction is so limited and
codified that every utterance takes on layers of additional meaning, and
it's hard to read "do you need change" as anything other than "don't
waste my time getting you change; that money is rightfully mine," and
that's a drag.
p.s. yes, I'm a crank. I would assume that would go without saying (I
know it does for Bo, but there may yet be others reading this), but if
not, there you go.
Bo Williams wrote:
> This is, honestly, the first time I've ever heard anyone complain
> about wait staff asking if you need change. As far as I can remember,
> it's something they've always done in more-fancy places where odds are
> either a) you're paying with a card or b) you actually don't need
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